Sun, Jun 26, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Distinguishing friends from foes

By the Liberty Times editorial

Taiwan is situated in a highly sensitive area. Therefore, the conduct of its neighbors all have serious impact on the country. Besides doing its best to defend itself and strengthening its economic power, Taiwan must learn to recognize its friends from its foes.

In light of this nation's precarious geopolitical situation, if Taiwan cannot distinguish between friend and enemy it may be cast aside by allies and create an opportunity for its enemies to close in.

Who are Taiwan's friends? Those countries that advocate the interests of Taiwan in the international community.

In arenas for the international community, including the UN, the WTO, World Health Organization (WHO) and others, the nation's allies have spared no effort in condemning the unjust treatment give to Taiwan. In the international community where self-interest tops everything else, the friendship of Taiwan's allies is especially precious. Although countries such as the US and Japan do not hold formal diplomatic relationships with Taiwan, they share common strategic interests and are therefore close partners with us.

During the 1996 cross-strait missile crisis, the US sent military vessels to the region and forced China to curtail its actions. Moreover, the joint US-Japanese declaration that the Taiwan issue is of strategic importance is further evidence of this partnership.

Who are Taiwan's enemies? The facts speak for themselves -- the People's Republic of China is the enemy. China has more than 700 missiles targeting Taiwan and threatens us with other advanced weapons. It also openly declares within international community that Taiwan is a province of China. In a nutshell, China's intent is to one day invade Taiwan and destroy its sovereignty and the self-determination of its people.

In light of the PRC's attitude toward Taiwan, it is an aggressor and an enemy of international order. In order words, the PRC is both the troublemaker in the Taiwan Strait and an obstacle to international order.

Since we can tell our friends from our enemies, it should not be so difficult to formulate defense, cross-strait and foreign policies. Unfortunately, that is not the case. For selfish reasons, some politicians, political parties, the pro-unification media and businesspeople knowingly and deliberately treat our enemies as friends and our friends as enemies in order to place the country in danger.

For example Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) clearly know that the nation needs to purchase defensive weapons from the US in order to protect the country. Yet, they adamantly continue to boycott the approval of the arms budget, leading the US and Japan to question the determination of Taiwan to protect itself. Lien and Soong not only dismiss the nation's defense needs, but also willingly adhere to Beijing's unificationist propaganda.

The pan-blue camp characterizes the US and Japan as domineering hegemonies, but are not the least bit bothered by China's bullish behavior. Therefore, when the Japanese government expelled and seized Taiwanese fishing boats from the area around the Diaoyutais (釣魚台), the blue camp criticized government for being too meek, and demanded that warships be dispatched to protect Taiwan's fishing waters. However, when Chinese survey ships entered Taiwanese waters in recent weeks, the same critics didn't utter a word.

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